So where and what is Village Farm?
Village Farm lies on the very tip of South Devon.
It’s a pretty place to work as it sits at the entrance to the Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuary and its southern fields overlook the Ocean.
Rather than having a farmyard at the heart of the land it has instead the small coastal village of East Portlemouth. Hence its name, Village Farm.
Now, usually on farm websites we’re meant to tell you how wonderful the land is and how fertile and special it is and how it’s been in our handed down by generations of our family.
But we’re not going to do that because, to be really honest, we only arrived here 3 years ago and as we quickly discovered this land isn’t the easiest to farm.
You see the previous owner had little love for this place and the soils were mistreated for years, as a result they are incredibly thin and stony.
Its topography is challenging as well.
From its windswept hilltop, situated so high that on a very clear day you can clearly see some 50 miles away, to its steep hillsides that fall away precipitously toward the estuary below making for tough going even by foot in places.
Lastly, its location on a headland that juts into the English Channel makes it horribly exposed to the elements and at the mercy of the prevailing winter southwesters that roar off the Atlantic.
However, with all of this we’re not complaining.
You see a farm is more than just its soil and its location (and besides it does have very pretty views). A farm is the people behind it, who manage it and care for it. A farm is about the aspirations, visions, goals and decisions of how they take a parcel of land forward into the future.
So you may not be able to change a farm’s location but, with thought and care, you can change what grows there so to protect it from the elements and make it robust from wind, rain and sun.
Similarly you can’t change the underlying soil you inherit but, with knowledge and careful management, you can change the fertility by working to create new topsoil and organic matter.
You can also completely change the way the land is farmed, throwing out conventional soil and wildlife damaging practices and instigating instead regenerative methods that make for a thriving, food producing, wildlife abundant landscape.
In a nutshell, Village Farm is a long-term project conjured up by two best friends and a very understanding landlord.
Our drive each day is to take a windswept, misused neglected, coastal farm and turn it into an abundant rich landscape that produces nourishing, healthy, high welfare food with 100% traceability while simultaneously becoming a haven for wildlife.
We’ve only been going for 3 years but what changes we’ve managed to achieve in that time!
18 Month's After
A short film about how our animals graze
Village Farm Organics
t: 01548 842 811